Troy Carter

Troy Carter91 posts

Troy Carter is an American businessman, born in Philadelphia in 1972. Originally a member of the short-lived rap group 2 Too Many, he worked for Puff Daddy before setting up his own artist management company. In 2007 he became Lady Gaga’s manager, helping her sell over 24 million albums and 90 million singles. He split with Gaga in 2013. He is an active investor in over 50 technology startups. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and five children.

9 Sep, 2015

SMASHD Labs inductees announced

Announcement

Carter announces the first inductees into the SMASHD Labs accelerator program.

We want to be able to open the door to companies to come into our network where we can actually invest money, put a network of investors around them, and put mentors in the room that can help them build a great company.

Inductees include WeTransfer, a file transfer service:

All of our clients on the music side use WeTransfer, so here we have this opportunity to reach 70 million people per month through advertising.

Trakfire, a Product Hunt for music:

Without giving too much away about what they’re working on, it’s the most well-thought out and efficient way of discovering new music I’ve seen so far.

Sidestep, which lets fans order fan gear directly to their concert seats or their house.

You go into the venues and there’s a huge drop-off rate in the merch lines. People don’t want to miss parts of the concert.

Throne, an Ebay for streetwear, which he had seen at a demo day:

The problem with when you look at eBay is that you can put a pair of Jordans next to a frying pan. It’s an altogether different experience compared to having some editorial around it and well-curated experience

Podium, which gives tablets to Uber and Lyft riders:

Having a captive audience in the back of Lyft or an Uber is a pretty great place.

Enrou, a marketplace where buyers can support both the individuals and communities that they buy from. Carter saw the founders on Forbes 30 under 30 list and wanted the company to apply for SMASHD.

This was a company that really checked a box that we were looking for in how can we combine social impact around global culture.

23 Oct, 2013

Announces $75M+ tech fund

Announcement

Carter, through AF Square, announces the formation of a new fund of between $75 million and $100 million, which will invest mostly in seed and Series A stages. He doesn’t say where the money is coming from, but that he’ll be taking the same approach with his investments as he takes with the musicians he brings in under his management. He describes his investment strategy as:

Opportunistic

29 Oct, 2012

Announces PoP Water

Announcement

Carter and photographer Richardson announce PopWater, a drink that will be marketed as a healthier alternative to sugary soft drinks – an 11.2 oz can will contain 30 calories and 7 grams of sugar. Initial flavors will include apple, orange, pineapple and grape. Richardson will be the brand’s creative director. The product will launch early 2103 in California. Carter says the idea for Pop Water resulted from the various conversations with the big cola producers’ music initiatives.

We noticed none of the brands had music in their DNA. We felt we could build something with relevance to music and pop culture if we built something from scratch. Whether it’s flying to Kentucky with food scientists or flying around the world sourcing the packaging, the last two years has been an education for us in the beverage space…We’re talking to a bunch of music and pop culture icons who’ve tasted the beverage. We’re gonna have a lot of support behind this…The idea is not to be just an endorsement but to be a part of people’s lives. Endorsements, where they’re just one-offs feels like the artists just got a check for it. For us, we set out to make something that’s a lot healthier than what’s in the market. It’s really hard to get 30 calories to taste good.

8 Feb, 2012

Little Monsters launch

Product Release

LittleMonstersimageGaga launches LittleMonsters  (https://littlemonsters.com/) as an invite-only beta for Gaga’s fans, who she refers to a “Little Monsters”. The site is the first project by Backplane and acts as a social network for her fans. CEO Michelsen says the project, in common with other Backplane project aims to :

Unite people around interests, affinities and movements. Backplane is about bringing together communities and Gaga’s community just so happens to be the community we’re using to learn about proper functionality. We think we can really change the world.

Gaga had called her manager, Carter, after seeing a screening of The Social Network:

She said she’d like to build a social network for her fans, and build a community where they could congregate and have conversations. So I called some of my friends in the Valley.

Carter then talked with Palantir CEO, Lonsdale, which led to the creation of Backplane, which has built the platform for the site. They receive backing from Google Ventures and others.

16 Aug, 2011

Harvard Business Review case study

Book

Harvard Business Review publishes a second case study, this time concentrating on the launch of Born This Way.

In March 2011, Troy Carter, manager of pop star Lady Gaga, reflects on decisions made regarding his artist’s concert tour and faces a new set of challenges regarding the launch of Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way. Is a huge, expensive launch akin to that of a “tent-pole” movie the best way to capitalize on Gaga’s popularity, or is a more moderate approach that relies on word-of-mouth the right way to proceed? Designed to help students understand the decisions that helped propel Lady Gaga into one of the entertainment world’s biggest names. Written from the perspective of her manager, the case provides rich insights into the artist’s touring, recorded-music, and social-media activities, as well as supporting economic data.

22 Jul, 2011

Harvard Business Review case study

Book

Harvard Business Review publishes a case study about Carter’s work with Gaga:

In September 2009, Troy Carter, manager of up-and-coming pop star Lady Gaga, has to decide on a new course of action now that his artist’s planned co-headlining arena tour with hip-hop superstar Kanye West has been canceled. Carter knows that continuing the tour solo comes with huge risks, but scaling it back to smaller theaters or postponing the tour altogether has disadvantages as well. Making matters more complicated, Carter also has to consider the implications for Gaga’s partners, including the concert promoter Live Nation and the William Morris Endeavor agency. What is the best strategy? This case is designed to help students understand the decisions that helped propel Lady Gaga into one of the entertainment world’s biggest names. Written from the perspective of her manager, the case provides rich insights into the artist’s touring, recorded-music, and socialmedia activities, as well as supporting economic data.

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